Collegiate Assistant Professor, Humanities
Core: Philosophical Perspectives
Alex Silverman received his PhD in Philosophy from Yale University in 2014. He works primarily on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European philosophy. His dissertation, entitled “The Union of Thought and Being in Spinoza,” explores Benedict de Spinoza's attempted navigation between materialist and idealist conceptions of nature. The dissertation charts this navigation primarily with respect to Spinoza's theories of the divine attributes and the mind-body relation. In addition to his interest in Spinoza, Alex has also worked on foundational questions in John Locke’s metaphysics and epistemology, especially concerning Locke’s response to radical skepticism. Regarding future projects, he hopes to investigate the practical implications of and interconnections between Spinoza’s and Locke’s systems. In particular, he is fascinated by Spinoza’s and Locke’s pioneering conceptions of religious toleration, and the ways in which their views on toleration are both similar to and different from contemporary perspectives.